The Moogle Cavern
From Sonic Retro
|The Moogle Cavern
|Current owner(s): Kulock
|Type of site: General Fansite
|Created on: 1997
|Current status: Offline
The Moogle Cavern was a long-running (over seven years as of now) site featuring sprite comics, hoaxes, a place for people to share their artwork, and an active message board. While it was not strictly a Sonic site, it had close ties to much of the Sonic scene.
The Moogle Cavern itself was maintained exclusively by Kulock, who also had control over all its other functions. He was assisted by H Hog and Andrusi in moderating the Comics and Hoaxes Archive, and by Jamie Swiftrunner and BlazeHedgehog on the Oekaki board. MoogleMB was moderated by H Hog, CrazyMrLeo, Eric (formerly known as TLoB), Sz, and Andrusi.
Many MCers, or members of the Moogle Cavern community (primarily the MoogleMB forum), claimed as an injoke that "the Moogle Cavern is a cult, you cannot escape." And indeed, many people who attempted to permanently leave the MC had difficulty doing so (although girls had a higher success rate, as many of the male members were perverts or at least acted that way).
The Moogle Cavern was originally founded by Kulock as a general site focusing on his interests, such as (naturally enough) Square (then Squaresoft) RPGs. The site was very obscure at first, known primarily to Kulock's friends from existing Sonic communities, such as the Sonic Powerzone mailing list. With the exception of "Sonic Season Three", an ill-fated attempt to continue SatAM, the site in its early form offered little in terms of unique content. However, this changed in the late 90s, as hoaxing came into fashion. Kulock and several of his friends were interested in hoaxing, and so in late 1998 a hoaxes section appeared at the Moogle Cavern. For one reason or another, the site became one of the larger hoaxer "hangouts", with enough regular visitors to support a forum on ezBoard.
Due to various complications, the initially frequent updates to the hoaxes section (and the increasingly neglected other sections) slowed, until the site finally went on hiatus in 2000. The message board, however, remained alive (and stable, due in part to the consistent presence of the "original" members), and in fact grew in size. The forum community formed its own culture, including a hoard of in-jokes, and became one of the most social boards on the Internet. This culture (along with many of the in-jokes) was spotlighted in 2001, when CrazyMrLeo began a comic called "Moogle" which starred the avatars of the regular posters at the Moogle Cavern Message Board. ("Moogle" inspired several other comics, the longest running of these being H Hog's "The Horror".)
In 2002, in response to increasing service prices and decreasing functionality at ezBoard, Kulock created a new message board "home" for the MC Community: a phpBB known as MoogleMB. At roughly the same time, he launched an Oekaki board on the same domain, where members could show off their artwork. For reasons that are disputed (each "side" blames the other), the MoogleMB community became one of PACHUKA's enemies, and as a result suffered difficulties such as a Sonic CulT-inflicted denial-of-service attack. (The site was also hacked at one point, but while PACHUKA and the CulT were suspected, the culprit was never identified.)
In 2004, the main page partially relaunched at www.mooglecavern.com. The new site sports a revamped hoaxes section, provides hosting for MC-related comics (mostly sprite comics), and features Kulock's own community-based comic, MC Dash! In early 2005, a Flash-based chat feature was added. The page's form at that point is referred to as "The Moogle Cavern 0.5", referring to Kulock's intention to eventually reopen the site's original sections.
In 2005, the MoogleMB website was destroyed as a result of an attack orchestrated by a former member who was displeased with being banned from the forum. As a reaction, H Hog quickly opened a makeshift "Emergency" forum at ProBoards, where they would remain for a good while.
In 2006, the main website relaunched, this time named "MC Tiny"; referring to the Toolbar-esque layout at the top of the page, a feature which also merged in with the messageboard. During Christmas of 2006, Kulock reopened the forums anew as an SMF powered board back on the Moogle Cavern's primary website, choosing to abandon the separate MoogleMB domain and instead, keep the forums in a subdomain on his main website. Nowadays, the MoogleMB domain serves as a tribute website, to preserve some of the history and memories of the Moogle Cavern's community.
Some time around June 27th of 2002, Kulock added a special "Oekaki," or art board, for the more artistically inclined of the Moogle Cavern's forumers. Over time, the message board and the oekaki grew into two separate communities. Several attempts to "take back the Oekaki" had been made by various forumgoers over time, but none of them had been successful. The bitterness seemed to have ended for good during the last attempt to take the oekaki back, though; both sides agreed to their flaws, and several forumer had returned to grace the oekaki with their art. A few people from the Oekaki-community left in the conflict, but now that it has been resolved the oekaki became a welcome drawing board for anyone with some artistic skill.
The site was closed on January 8th, 2008, with the following message from Kulock on the homepage:
|It's time for things to come to a close. This is a difficult page to write, and there's no question I'll leave much more out of it than I intended. But it's time for it to be written. Far past time, really.
There is a strong, clear point I want to make before going any further. This is not me flipping off the fandom, or the people who made the site worth running for a very long time. There are some people who will never be convinced that this is anything but; most likely some feeble attempt to "take my ball and run home." There's nothing I can say to those, they've already made their decisions about me, and so I'm not going to fight or argue over it. The simple truth is that I'm not going away. I'll be around.
And now the question of timing. Honestly, it's been something I've been thinking about since early last year, and it's been planned for several months. I thought one last New Years together would be a fair close. I left plenty of slack in case I truly needed to reconsider, but it just isn't happening. Regardless of how well or poorly you think I've done, for something around eleven years I've made my efforts to run the works in the best way I know how. My heart wasn't always in it, I admit, but I did it. I cleaned up messes, I resolved issues, I did what I could to keep an entertaining and fun place alive in an increasingly jaded and bitter internet. I feel like I've done my part.
So why not pass the site along to someone else? There's some obvious candidates. But The Moogle Cavern, at least on the content and structure side, has always been an expression of my interests and ideals. Even if it's just the forum aspect being carried over, why force my ideals onto someone else? How fair is that when they have their own designs and desires, interests and ideas? Why should they inherit the problems and stresses tied to the name, simply because I feel it's time to step away? And why should I be forced to give up the thing I've worked on for over a decade? Even if it's just a name when it's all said and done, it's the name I've worked under for a long time now. Perhaps it's a little greedy, but for all this time, and all this worry, it doesn't seem right to give it away... or thrust it upon someone else.
Recommend a place to go? No. A clear group of MC refugees would be another unfair pressure to push onto someone else. And I don't want people to sit together, waiting for me or someone else to make a follow-up site that people can flock back to after some pressure, as if this was a move for ego padding. I don't want to scatter real friends, but I don't want people to wait around in some artificial bubble, trying to carry on something that's been brought to a close. I will still be around, but I don't pretend to be some sort of beacon. Just a long-winded prat who offers up his opinion more often than he should.
Pulling down the board suddenly is a big shock, I understand, and I know some of you will be pissed for that. That's unquestionably reasonable, but I can offer content out of it should you require it. I won't be passing around full copies, not only for security reasons, but because I simply can't trust some people to not make things further complicated. The Oekaki is still up for now, please save what pictures you actually want. Hosted sites are not deleted, but I would strongly recommend finding a new place before the end of the month, if you haven't already. I'm sorry I couldn't offer more warning. Also, the machine behind the logo is completely out of coffee. It's awful all around.
And there we are.
Continuing the Legacy
While The Moogle Cavern is now dead in name, the community continues to live strong in the form of Sonic Eats Rings, headed by Spazz, David The Lurker and Sz of MC fame. It should be noted, however, that though still occasionally graced by his presence, this community is not officially endorsed by Kulock--despite this though, its members still consider it the "official" spinoff of the community nonetheless.
- mooglemb.com The former home to the Moogle Cavern community, now a media archive of the community that it "stands as a testament to."